20 March 2010

Hey! I've been listening to the Bonnie & Clyde masters a lot -- hell, I think I already know most of the words. I love the bluesy western feel of it, especially the piano. This was a bit different than Frank Wildhorn's other works and I like it. Now, I heard of Don Black from the London cast of Romeo et Juliette de la Haine a l'Amour. Erm. I did NOT like it. [I frickin' LOVE the French original to bits; the English version raped it.] So yeah, while I looked forward to the music in this, I was ready for excessive cheese in the lyrics.

Anyway, I listened a bit to the demo before I received any audio masters of the show itself. There are so much difference between the demo (which I think was started 1999) and the show proper (which was produced ten years later). So, I decided to compare them... sort of.

The demo was sung by Michael Lanning, he played Charlie/Preacher/Judge/Ensemble in the production, and Linda Eder, Frank Wildhorn's ex-wife. It consists of 13 songs. At first glance at the track list, it seems that they dropped a few songs. They added new songs too. And some changed titles. It's very interesting. My past experiences with demos and preview soundboards... they usually don't change a lot. Sure, Wicked removed a song and totally changed what is now "Dancing Through Life". With this one, the music stayed the same but they did changes on the lyrics. Again, Don Black... I am looking at you.

What Was Always Good Enough, or what I call "the tub scene", remained almost the same. I love that this is sort of the "official" introduction montage of sorts for the two. Clara Bow/Tom Mix was scrapped. Bonnie was talking about being called the It girl one day. In the production, Clyde takes care of that and of course, the "ravishing redhead" blurb in the magazine. Clyde talks about Tom Mix and how he wants to make it big too. Short Order World is one of my favorite tracks on the demo and the production. But the lyrics are TOTALLY DIFFERENT. In the demo, the chorus is comprised of the diner's menu: hash browns, eggs, bacon fried. The "I'm sick to death of the losers 'round here" part and the best line of the song, "I got me a dream and a dream's worth a lot." And oh, the demo is a duet. This Never Happened Before makes me smile every time I hear it -- without even watching the show. It's more amusing once you know what it's about... sorta. ;-) This one was kept intact.

The Long Arm of the Law was definitely longer in the demo. In the production, a good chunk of it had dialogue interludes. Some lyrical changes here and there but nothing too drastic. When I first saw the next song in the list, I Don't Know the Way, I thought it was removed. But when I listened to it... guess what? It's Dyin' Ain't So Bad. This song probably is in the Top 3 reasons why I DEMAND a cast album featuring Stark Sands and Laura Osnes. I am so in love with this song and Laura's voice is just... ahh! This never fails to make me cry. The final version just kept the bridge part, "I've met boys who talk about farms and horses.." but other than that, DIFFERENT LYRICS. When I Drive is another song scrapped from the production. Basically, it's just Clyde boasting that he can get any car he wants and he's most alive when he's driving. It's a good decision to remove this song -- I cannot imagine Stark singing this [Don Black, srsly?].

Another one of my favorite songs is You Can Do Better Than Him/Me. "Him" for the production and "Me" for the demo. In the demo, it's a Clyde solo. The lyrics are almost the same but pronouns are changed in the final production to make it a duet between Ted and Clyde. You're All I Ever Wanted is not in the final production. It's just another Bonnie solo professing her love and devotion to Clyde. Yeah, we have enough of that already. God's Arms Are Always Open was kept as it is.

And oh, my FAVORITE song in the production, The World Will Remember Us. There are a lot of changes in the lyrics. It's the third to the last song on the demo and it closes Act 1 in the production right when Clyde busts out of prison with the help of Bonnie. I think in the demo, it's sort of a "closing" piece of the whole thing. The one used in the production worked better - as a closer of both Act 1 and 2. I Wouldn't Have Missed It For the World feels like an 80s pop song. Hee! It's not in the production, which was good. It has an "Almost Paradise" feel to it. X-D For all the cheese it's worth, I kind of like this song. What You Call A Dream closes out the demo. Like the previous song, it sounds familiar but I'm pretty sure it's not in the final version of the show.

So there. Demo vs Production. Clearly, I prefer the stage play. Why? The demo didn't have BONNIE. The song, I mean. Some songs are very addictive and in no time soon, you'll be finding yourself singing along to them. I know I did. Stark and Laura definitely bring something different to the songs. That, right there, is a perfect piece of casting. I really hope there will be an official cast album featuring the La Jolla cast. I'd give ANYTHING for that.


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